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magic hands
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Am I the only one a little upset about these DVD'S?
The main effects I bought these for, would not be applicable to the average magician.
You need to be McGyver to put some of these together.
I am a big fan of Tommy Wonder but very disapointed in these..
Before it goes crazy, I understand the magic is incrediable but the average magician will not be able to perform ring..wallet and watch..and a couple of the others on vol. 3
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funkyguy
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Is the ring wallet and watch routine the one from his books? I saw the video and was in love with the effect. I am just curious if it is the same get up as the book.
magic hands
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Don't know if it is in the book..I also loved the effect, just probably won't be able to put it together Smile
hkmagician
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I wonder why you can't put it together ?
Stefan S.
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Well,

I guess if you did know Tommy Wonder, you would also have known that most of his Routines require a lot of preparation!

Which in most cases bring results which are really close to "magic"!

I personaly just orderd these DVD just to be able to see Tommy Wonder do those things and also be able to show some of my friends. I do not really expect to use any of it, but it might give me some Ideas!??

Cheers,

Stefan
Andrew E. Miller
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Quote:
On 2003-05-23 16:12, funkyguy wrote:
Is the ring wallet and watch routine the one from his books? I saw the video and was in love with the effect. I am just curiouw if it is the same get up as the book.


It is in his "Books of Wonder" Volume 1.

Take care,
Andrew
If you get bored go to www.a-miller.idz.net and watch some magic.



-Andrew
Jonathan Townsend
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Ossining, NY
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About his magic...

These are the routines he does. He has made both the premise and the method available to you on DVD. If you have sufficient motivation to have the 'preparations' the time and money are well invested. It's that simple.

Let's take his work as being about as involved as John Ramsay's. The good news for you is that Tommy Wonder's routines do NOT require spending years learning sleights that only work when done correctly and within one's body language.

I believe that his magic is also more accessible to audiences and requires far less additional work in presentation.

Surely you know some people who could make some of these things for you...
...to all the coins I've dropped here
thimblerig
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I bought these as fast and as soon as I could and thus far have only viewed disk 1...again and again. I got my money's worth already. The entertainment value is outstanding. The lessons in misdirection, planning, preparation and outthinking the audience are excellent. Nothing truly worthwhile comes without effort.
fwiw,
tr
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Paul Menzel
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There are several effects on these DVDs that should be well within the range of most magicians above the novice level which do not require major construction. However, if I never use a single effect from this series, it still would be worth every penny I spent.

The real value of this series is not in the effects (which are wonderful!), but in all the other lessons here: audience management, directing attention, the insights into the development of his routines, the discussions of whyand not just how, etc. If you've overlooked this aspect, you are really missing out. The goal is not to make little Tommy Wonders mimicking Tommy's effects, but to help us become better versions of ourselves.
Steven Steele
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Paul,
You are 100% on target. So many magicians are missing out on the real wealth of Tommy's DVD's. I'm not interested in building any of his routines, but his approach to his effects will give you a PhD in giving you the ability to developing a great act.

Steven
magic hands
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Nothing for nothing, but I'm not sure about anyone buying these tapes for the insights of the why's development of effects, etc.

Granted they were very good, but not the reason I bought the tapes to begin with.

As far as entertainment..I personally do not invest this kind of money to just be entertained, not to say that is was interesting to see the way Tommy worked his audience, but again not the main reason to buy.

I would love to see someone figure the watch, ring and money gimmick out..
Just my humble opinion of the tapes..
Don
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M@gic Man
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Is the ring, wallet and watch the same as the 'Mugged' effect?
Or is it different if so how?
Its not what you do, but how you do it.
Andrew E. Miller
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Here is the effect straight from the ads. I hear it is a great routine.

The Ring, the Watch, and the Wallet - Tommy relates how he was recently robbed. He takes off his ring, takes the money from his wallet, and takes the watch off his wrist. He then very cleanly puts the items in an envelope and openly tears the envelope to shreds. Tommy instantly holds up his hand and there is the ring back on his finger and the watch on his wrist. He opens up his wallet and there is the money back inside. Truly stunning.

Andrew
If you get bored go to www.a-miller.idz.net and watch some magic.



-Andrew
Paul Menzel
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The clip of the performance of "The Ring, the Watch, and the Wallet" is available online at several magic dealers' sites (I think Murphy's and Hank Lee specifically).

Magic hands, I think if you apply some of Tommy's tips and your own creativity, you could probably come up with a slightly different way to perform the effect (alter the method for each item somehow) which may eliminate some of the construction you wish to avoid. If you are really that disappointed with the series, you could probably unload them very quickly over in the "Let's Make a Magic Deal" section. Perhaps trade for something that better meets your expectations. I suspect no video is for everyone.

I am not at all disappointed with the DVDs, but I bought them for all the information they offer. Highly recommended and Max Maven had me laughing out loud at the Easter egg on the first DVD. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Smile
Xiqual
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Come on guys!!!

I can come up with my own methods for doing the Ring,watch and wallet routine.

Methods are not important.

It's the drama!!!

Look at his body while he tears up the envelope.

Check out the pose he strikes AFTER he shows the people he has all his stuff back.

Tommy Wonder is a true actor. He ability to use drama and timing are incredible.

If I could learn to use 1/10th of the acting ability he has, I would be very happy.

I ordered the DVD set just to hear him talk about routining and misdirection.
[ok,ok, I want to learn his chop cup routine too]

I think this DVD set will be a landmark.

Just my opinion though.
Cheers,
James
Still with the Chinese circus Smile
thimblerig
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James,
You will not be disappointed, particularly if you got the deal straight from L & L: they give you an autographed poster and also his older tape with different stuff on it for free.

Interestingly he does not provide the method to make the balls he uses on the DVD, but it is in his book on the subject. I guess it is pretty well known how to make pom pom balls if you're into crafts but I wasn't before I made mine. Another important point on the cups is the type of bag he uses for the cups, it is not the typical one dealers sell us...his Mother actually makes his, but you can get what you need easily. He does explain pretty much everything else, though. Oh, and he doesn't use a chop cup, at least for the two cup routine.

Best,
tr
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Dr. Bombay
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These are the best DVD's I own or L&L have put out. Even the audience is improved. There are some old favorites ( David ) but the reactions are genuine this time, unlike their previous bomb, the Henry Evans material.
Tim Trono
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The “Visions of Wonder” DVDs are, in my opinion, one of the most important DVD releases to come out in magic and also one of the best purchases you can make as of late. I was thrilled when I was invited to attend this even, it surpassed my high expectations, and I was further delighted to see the end result which, as you will read, is spectacular. If you are willing to devote some time, energy, thought, work, etc. you will be delighted. These DVDs are NOT “Easy to Master”, they are NOT DVDs that can be watched and appreciated with no thought, they are NOT self working effects you can take and do at your magic meeting the same night. However, if you put some time and examination into what Tommy is imparting you will be a better magician period. I was quickly reminded how powerful magic can be for an audience. Tommy makes people believe they have seen REAL magic! This is not easy but he shows you how. A big part of this requires you be devoted enough to go the extra mile, to put in practice, to put in time and thought, etc. These DVDs are a delight to watch but granted I want to LEARN from magic DVDs and I learned more from these than any I can recall. There are lessons, ideas, suggestions, etc. PILED onto these DVDs. In addition there is some fabulous material… don’t overlook Elizabeth IV, the coin routines, Tommy’s Ambitious Card routine, etc.

If you have not yet purchased the DVDs I had written the following at one point for Louis Falanga and figured I’d post it here. It will give a pretty in depth look at the videos/DVDs. So here it goes if you don’t mind reading through it LOL:

Last summer, I received a call from Louis Falanga inviting me to a video shoot with Tommy Wonder. Without the slightest hesitation, I got off the phone with Louis, immediately called my travel agency, and booked airline tickets to travel 3000 miles across the United States. I knew this taping would be an important historical event in magic. I was not disappointed. It was an amazing and wonderful event that I will never forget. With L&L’s new “Visions of Wonder” tapes and DVDs you can become part of this event. I use the term “event” because after years of negotiations, Tommy Wonder finally decided to tip his mitt on these videos and DVDs. You will NOT want to miss these. They are the best videos tapes I have ever seen… period.

I flew out to California and drove the beautiful drive to Lake Tahoe with my co-workers from Murphy’s Magic Supplies, Inc. When we arrived at the home of L&L, I marveled at the spectacular view of the lake; the crisp, clean sky; and the towering trees. I simply could not believe how breathtaking it all was. Inside the event had already started. Louis Falanga had invited over friends and colleagues from around the country and was throwing a party. The food was delectable, the conversations were great, and the best was yet to come… Tommy Wonder.

In watching these videos, you may believe the responses were prompted or coached due to how strongly people reacted but I can tell you from being there that they were not. The audience quickly realized they were watching one of the best magicians in the world and they simply were acknowledging this. There was no prompting, no solicited responses, no acting. The reactions were real and if you were there you could “feel” them and understand why. There was one person at the shoot, as an example, who has seen a LOT of magic. During one piece (Elizabeth IV), I was watching the audience and I noticed this person standing in the back of the room. I watched her reactions… she was simply stunned and shaken with disbelief. As the climax came to the effect, she had tears come to her eyes. It made me realize how incredibly impactful Tommy Wonder’s magic is, how deeply he had touched everyone in that room, and what a true Master he is.

Tommy started with his approach to a plot devised by Oswald Williams and popularized by Alan Saxon. Tommy Wonder’s “The Ring, the Watch, and the Wallet” happened to be the first effect I ever saw Tommy Wonder perform quite a number of years ago. I distinctly remember how badly fooled I was. The audience at this shoot got to experience this same amazement. Tommy related how he was recently robbed. He took off his ring, took his money from his wallet, and took the watch off his wrist; very cleanly and openly put the items in an envelope; and with no funny business, tore the envelope to shreds. He instantly held up his hand and there was the ring back on his finger and the watch on his wrist. He opened up his wallet to show the money was back inside. It was stunning.

Tommy Wonder then went on to perform “The Magic Ranch”, “Through the Eye of the Needle”, his infamous version of the “Wild Card” plot entitled “The Tamed Card” and closed the first sequence with his unbelievable “Two Cup Routine”.

In explaining the items on the first set mentioned above, I quickly realized that Tommy was not going to be teaching routines one can learn during a day and go perform at the magic meeting in the evening. Some require extremely fascinating intricate devices, some require considerable audience management, and some are just so unique to Tommy that no one else could ever do them. However, I also realized as I listened to the explanations that through his thoughts and his example, Tommy Wonder was teaching the viewers to be better magicians.

Tommy starts off the explanation section discussing with Max Maven his ideas on misdirection. Actually Tommy prefers to “direct” or focus the spectator’s attention to where he wants it and when he wants it thus better managing the spectator. This is discussed in great detail in the “Books of Wonder” by Stephen Minch and Tommy Wonder. But to SEE this concept in action makes his points crystal clear. This is the first of many discussions on these tapes between Max and Tommy and they are superb. Tommy knows EXACTLY how to explain thoughts and concepts and Max knows exactly what to emphasize and when. Teaching is not an easy task but here you will receive optimal learning because you are learning from two people who really UNDERSTAND the material and also clearly understand HOW to explain it.

In his explanation of the “The Ring, the Watch, and the Wallet”, Tommy describes the canceling technique he uses. One method cancels another which cancels another… leaving the spectator with only one answer… they saw real magic. Any thought someone might have as far as methodology is completely crushed over and over again. In Tommy Wonder’s explanation of this effect you will quickly see that he has thought of EVERY detail. Nothing is left to chance. I remember watching “The Tommy Wonder British Close-Up Magic Symposium Lecture Video” when Tommy discussed how he always tried to take the extra step to ensure his routines reset. He advised that if you don’t have to worry about a routine (such as if the props are back where they need to be and reset) it will be more magical in your mind and thus you will convey this to your audience naturally. In the same manner, Tommy leaves nothing to chance in the details of his routines. Thus they are more magical to him and this translates into the spectator’s experience being a more magical event; it adds an extra layer of conviction.

Tommy next explains his thoughts on Don Alan’s “Magic Ranch”. A plastic egg suddenly appears on the table in front of the spectator and well away from Tommy. A card is selected and lost in the pack. The plastic egg is “cracked” open to reveal a miniature duplicate of the selected card. The audience is further stunned when the deck is shown to contain all duplicates of a different card from that which was selected. In discussing this effect, Tommy explains how this can be a risk free method of practicing the focusing of a spectator’s attention.

In “Through the Eye of The Needle” Tommy has turned an old unknown children’s stunt into a miracle. A needle and length of thread are shown and suddenly the bundle of thread seems to slowly penetrate the eye of the needle. The bundle is snipped at the top and the spectator is left with a souvenir of an impossible object which has been created right before their eyes… twenty or more strands pass through the tiny eye of the needle making their removal virtually impossible.

“The Tamed Card” follows. This is Tommy Wonder’s unbelievable take on the Peter Kane/Frank Garcia “Wild Card” plot where a group of identical cards change one by one into duplicates of an entirely different card. Tommy has added a fantastic presentation based on a premise by Flip Hallema. This turns a somewhat pointless card effect into an entertaining piece of theater. It becomes essentially a small and humorous trick about conflict. The audience becomes fascinated at how Tommy will overcome the problem or conflict and is thus pulled into the experience. In addition, Tommy has radically changed the structure of the routine so that it looks like real magic yet is amazingly practical. It requires no table, it resets, and it is designed to fool those who follow you around watching it over and over again.

Finally, Max introduces the famous “Two Cup Routine” that has become Tommy Wonder’s claim to fame. Max recounts watching this years ago at an FFFF gathering and the stunned reaction that it received by some of the world’s top sleight of hand artists as they watched in total disbelief. It is not only an amazing sequence, but very practical with none of the “standard” loads of fruits or big balls to deal with coming from the pockets. In the performance footage you will see the spectators are totally destroyed by this routine. Even if YOU know what to look for you will miss it. As a matter of fact, during the taping I was sitting at the back of the room with Max Maven and Louis Falanga watching the monitors. After the performance, we took a break and during the break decided the review the footage of the “Two Cup Routine”. The spectator that had just been participating and who was badly fooled by this routine came back, sat with us, and watched it a second time only to be fooled just as badly the second time around. This is one of the many highlights of the tape and I predict this routine will find its way into many performers’ repertoires after the release of these videos and DVDs.

Volume two starts off with Tommy Wonder explaining emotion and how an audience can be transported “into” an experience by feeling the emotion of the performer.

Tommy performs “Elizabeth IV”, “Rubik’s Card”, “Deja ReVurse”, “Socked Coins”, “Cough Cough”, and “The Well-tempered Birdcage”.

“Elizabeth IV” is Tommy’s updated handling of “Elizabeth III” which appeared in “The Books of Wonder” (Vol.1, pg. 64-69). This is turn came from an effects released some decades back by Davenports and entitled “Elizabeth’s Fantastic Joker”. The performer removes a clear envelope with a wager and two prediction cards. Any card is named and the money and two cards are removed from the envelope. One of the cards is shown to match the freely named card. This does not read as well as it plays. It is STUNNING. The new method Tommy created is fabulous. I was very familiar with “Elizabeth III” but this new method fooled me badly.

In “Rubik’s Card”, Tommy shows a small box filled with blocks that have card pips on some of their sides. A card is selected and the lid is removed from the box to show that the blocks have somehow arranged themselves to form an image of the selected card.

In “Deja ReVurse” two cards are selected and with a magical noise the first selection turns face up. It is turned face down and the sound is made again with the intention of the second selection turning face up. However, when the cards are spread it is the first selection once again. The first card almost takes on a life of its own, repeating it’s antics, and in a final act of desperation Tommy rips up the first selection and tosses it aside. The magical noise is made, the deck spread and there, restored face up in the center, is the first card once again. The torn pieces are turned over to reveal the second selection.

“Socked Coins” is next. This routine has never been explained, never before been on video, and has been a closely guarded secret that Tommy Wonder has kept for himself. It is, in my opinion, worth the price of the entire set of videos or DVDs. It is one of the best coins routines I have ever seen. The routine is a lesson in how to lose money as coins penetrate a spectator’s hand. Five coins are slowly and counted into a spectator’s hand. Two of the coins penetrate the spectator’s hand and are put away. You offer to repeat this for another spectator. The first spectator opens their hand and a whole other climax is achieved as the spectator cannot believe they are only left with three coins. This sequence will fool even those in the know. The second spectator is given the three coins and once again, a coin penetrates their hand. Finally an incredible transposition takes place as you pull the last single coin through the back of the spectator’s hand. A description of this effect does not do it justice. This was THE highlight of the tapes for me and a routine I’ll use. It resets, can be done without a table, and is incredibly strong.

Tommy goes on to explain his workings on “Cough Cough”, his vanishing bird cage, the boomerang card, and the Zombie Ball. It is particularly interesting how he has dissected a classic such as the “Zombie Ball” to turn it into a better piece of magic.

The tape concludes with a clip showing a television contest from the early 1970’s where Tommy performed a stage act and won the competition. This is not the stage act that Tommy currently performs but is one he used at the time to receive a tremendous amount of recognition. It includes “Recalcitrant” (a deck of cards and a card box seem to take on a life of their own and repeatedly change places), “The Snail’s Progress” (a visible diminishing deck effect), “Colors Three and Through” (a ring and rope routine), “A Sequence with Balls” (and amazing ball manipulation sequence), and “The Big One” (a production of an enormous ball). Tommy then explains his ring and rope routine, “Colors Three and Through” as performed on the television competition.

In volume three, Tommy discusses three unbelievable (and I do mean unbelievable) versions of the borrowed watch to nest of boxes. You will shake your head in disbelief at the lengths that Tommy has gone to on the methodology. At one point, Max Maven laughs and explains that is how most who are watching this will react. Just as he was saying this I was laughing and thinking “incredible, incredible”. When I saw the performance, in particular, of the third version I was absolutely dumbfounded. In explaining these, Tommy takes you through the discovery process for creating. It’s fascinating to see how his ideas inspired new and improved versions.

“Coins Across” is next and is a revised sequence for “Presentations in Silver” from “The Books of Wonder” (Vol. 1, pg. 231 – 247). It is a combination of the coins across plot, a coin box routine, and a wonderful coin in eye routine to close. The reaction this received was incredible… it was like the card to forehead but this coins. The coins across sequence is practical and really fooled me. Pay particular note to Tommy Wonder’s discussion and example of “The Moment of Attention”.

Tommy then goes on to demonstrate his fabulous handlings for two classic effects “Card Through Handkerchief” and “Everywhere and Nowhere”. Once again, the little details shine through. Tommy really knows how to hammer an effect home and maximize the impact. As an example, on the “Card Through Handkerchief” he has the card penetrate so the back of the card shows first. He does this so they don’t get too much information to assimilate too fast. All too often we see magicians cram several effects or climax’s together. Just these little touches by Tommy turn a great effect into a miracle for his audiences. He truly understands clarity of effect and how important it is.

Finally, Tommy demonstrates his “Ambitious Card Plus Ring Box”. This received an unsolicited standing ovation. To watch the audience’s reaction during this sequence was incredible for me. Tommy slowly builds and builds the impossibility of the “Ambitious Card” effect. Finally he advises that he doesn’t know how this happens as this is his lucky card and he always keeps his luck card over… as he gestures to the box. At that point you can literally see people putting it together in their minds and they simply freak out. Tommy almost doesn’t even have to open the box because as far as they are concerned it is over. This, by the way, is one of the BEST versions of the card in box. This sequence was one of the highlights of the tapes for me. It will show you how strong magic can be. Remember when you watch this that the reactions are unsolicited, real, and they were carried out even after the cameras stopped rolling. People were talking about this effect and about Tommy Wonder long into the rest of the day and for good reason.

Tommy Wonder’s attention to detail is legendary. In these tapes, he will show you that even though this is something you don’t “see” it is something your audiences can and do perceive. They realize this and it makes your performance stronger.

As far as the production of the “Visions of Wonder” videos and DVDs, I would without a doubt say these are the finest tapes L&L has released. The tapes are filled with texture. They are not just trick, explanation, trick, explanation. Instead they take you “in” and make you “part” of this wonderful event. You get to enjoy the festivities, you get to explore the mind of Tommy Wonder through the amazing guidance of Max Maven leading you on the journey, you get to see the humor, you get to see the intensity, you get to see a level of magic you will aspire to attain, a level of magic you can reach if you follow some of the thoughts on these videos. As I said earlier, these are THE best videos I have ever seen. Do yourself a huge favor and buy these videos and live with them for a while.

The routines demonstrated on “Visions of Wonder” will require time, devotion, and some will require extremely intricate mechanical wonders. Those willing to go the extra mile will have miracles they will use forever. Those who don't will still find a tremendous value in watching a Master at work and applying the lessons learned to their own magic.

I have watched hundreds of magic videos and DVDs. It is VERY rare that I feel the thrill that I did after watching “Visions of Wonder”. These videos and DVDs will give you insight into the mind of a modern day legend and in doing so will make you a better magician and will demonstrate what magic should really look like.
Dr. Bombay
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The Tammed card is eye candy. I was fooled.

Thank heavens we have effects that will take some work. Not knucklebusting, but artsitic pieces.

Tommy does look like 'Jonathon" from Arsenic and Old Lace. Kind of spooky!!!
truthteller
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I had the pleasure of being Tommy's volunteer during a closeup set at a TAOM. I had studied all of his previous work, and was a bit apprehensive about being able to respond authentically to his performance.

I must say that being next to him was the greatest lesson in misdirection/direction I have ever received in my life. At that moment I realized that misdirection/direction is a palpable entity that can be manipulated and controlled with a degree of certainity that most magicians are unaware of.

I'll never forget those 12 minutes.
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